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CAIRO â The senior leaders of the Egyptian military have authorized General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi to run for president, state television reported Monday afternoon, making it nearly certain that he would seek the post.
General Sisi, the military officer who ousted Egyptâs first elected president last summer and who has been serving as defense minister, was also promoted on Monday to field marshal.
He is seen as all but certain to win the presidency. Nearly every other potential candidate has said that he would not run for the office if General Sisi sought it. The government that he installed last summer has suppressed the largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and cracked down on other dissenters. A revised constitution that was presented as a referendum on General Sisiâs leadership was approved by more than 98 percent of the votes cast this month.
The general has ridden a wave of popularity that has given him the status of a national icon since he led the removal of President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader who won election but failed to revive Egyptâs moribund economy, restore stability, or fully control the often freewheeling and self-interested institutions of the countryâs bureaucracy, especially the military and the police.
General Sisi was appointed as defense minister by Mr. Morsi in the summer of 2012, and at the time he appeared determined to keep the military out of politics. âWith all respect for those who say to the army, âGo into the streetâ: If this happened, we wonât be able to speak of Egypt moving forward for 30 or 40 years,â General Sisi said in the spring of 2013. A few months later, though, he led the military to remove Mr. Morsi from office after a weekend of huge street protests.
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